Congressional members of the ‘Gang of Eight’ currently working on new, comprehensive immigration reform, have hit a stumbling block regarding what to do same-sex partners of American citizens.
The immigration bill, concocted by four Democratic Senators, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), as well as four Republican Senators, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), includes provisions for legal immigration for highly skilled immigrants, migrant farm workers and those living here illegally however there are no provisions for same-sex partners of American citizens.
“There’s a reason this language wasn’t included in the Gang of Eight’s bill: It’s a deal-breaker for most Republicans,” said Senator Flake.
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has proposed a separate measure that would allow immigrants in long-term same-sex relationships to obtain residency with a green card. Senator Susan Collins of Maine is a co-sponsor of Leahy’s amendment. “Our legislation would simply update our nation’s immigration laws to treat binational, same-sex permanent partners fairly,” said Collins.
According to Senator Rubio, “This immigration bill is difficult enough as it is, if that issue (same-sex partners) is injected into this bill, this bill will fail. It will not have the support. It will not have my support.”
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